Pray for Our World: Swaziland

Swaziland is a small, landlocked enclave between Mozambique and South Africa. Mainly agricultural, most of the trade is with South Africa. However, the prevalence of AIDS has seriously affected their economy. It was a British protectorate from 1899-1968 and then became democratic, but the outrageous wealth of the monarchy among this poor country is a highly charged issue.

In Swaziland, the consistent sowing of the gospel over the last 160 years has led to a strong Christian community with a solid core of believers and regular church attenders. It is encouraging to see how a small, faithful sowing of the gospel over the years has reaped many benefits. Pray that they will continue to be faithful and lead others to Christ.

Pray for Our World: Maldives

Maldives are a small group of coral islands southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian ocean.  The average size of the 202 inhabited islands are less than 1 sq km, and average elevation is one meter.  Tourism and fishing dominate the economy.  Islam is the only recognized religion, and the practice of other religions is forbidden.  There are less than 600 Christians in the entire country, including Protestant, Independent and Catholic.

Behind the facade of island paradise and peaceful Islam lies a much darker reality.  They have one of the highest divorce rates in the world, there is rising crime and gang activity, abuse of children and endemic drug use among teens (possibly up to 70%).  They do not honor human rights or religious freedoms, and there is usually a correlation between the two.  Those countries with religious freedom have a better economy and better human rights record.

Please pray for this country.  The Gospel was translated into the native language back in 1811 and then subsequently was lost or destroyed soon after.  Only the Gospel of Luke and Acts are currently available to them, though it is highly illegal at this time.

Pray for Our World: Indonesia

Indonesia has over 6,000 inhabited islands, vast coral reefs, and is the world’s fourth most populous nation.  The service industry is their largest employer, and they make about 5% of the USA’s income per person.  They were under colonial rule by the Portuguese in the 1500’s, then Dutch, British, and finally Japanese from 1942-1945.  They gained their independence after WWII.  Indonesia has many challenges still to overcome – previous political threats, militant Islamist groups, poor human rights record, overpopulation, and several natural disasters of earthquakes, tsunamis and flooding which have killed over 200,000 people since 2001.

There is also a spiritual war in Indonesia that seeks to eliminate Christianity from the country.  Ancient and strong occult powers oppose the influence of the gospel, and modern Muslims have an Islamist vision of an Indonesia without Christians, which results in pressure and persecution of Christians, violence and destruction, and elimination of religious freedom.  Pray that the Good News of Jesus Christ will reach the people through the means of Bible translations, Christian literature, missionaries, the Jesus film, and Christian radio.

Pray for our World: Algeria

Algeria lies between Morocco and Libya in the Saharan Desert of Africa.  Most people are Arab.  There is a fast-growing economy due to the oil and gas reserves, but most of the wealth does not reach the ordinary citizens.  Freedom of religion has been dwindling and persecution increasing.  97% of the population is Muslim, with the rest considered mostly non-religious.  Christians are almost non-existent.  However there is the Church of Algeria, which is the only one officially recognized.

Most households there have satellite tv, common in this part of the world.  This is crucial because many Christian programs are able to be broadcast into their homes.  My church and the mission organizations I’m involved in both support programs for satellite tv in this area of the world.  God can use us to reach the world!